Tuesday, January 27, 2015

a holiday project: thinking of february

February will be here in under a week... and we all know what February brings.

Thoughts of flowers, hearts, glitter, shades of pink and of course, red.

It all started with Zulily... have you heard of this Seattle company?  If not, you should definitely check them out...  Each day they have new items for sale for a limited time and this vase was up a couple of weeks ago.  Now you may remember by slight obsession with all things milk glass... I have a couple of vases exactly like this one only in white.  So when it came up for $6 or $7 dollars I was thinking it would be an obvious choice to add to my collection.
zulily red vase

Unfortunately, I procrastinated a bit and it was sold out.  Then I stopped by my favorite thrift store to find this!  For just $.49 no less!  I didn't have any craft paint on hand but I did have some red chalk paint... and Pinterest.

You've probably seen the different methods of painting a vase or a jar... inside or outside.  I chose to follow the inside paint method since I wanted the outside of the vase to be shiny AND I liked the look of the glass over the paint rather than a chalk like finish.  Since I don't plan to use this for flowers, I do own around 90 white vases, I was ok with the inside being painted.

I went over many methods of painting the inside of a glass vessel.  The method that worked the best for me was to add the paint, a few drops of water to thin it, and to swirl it all around to cover.  I added the plastic wrap for this stage just to be safe... red paint isn't the easiest of colors to clean up.

Then I removed the plastic wrap and let the vase sit on it's side, turning it frequently for the next couple of hours.  After that I went back and forth between inverting the vase and leaving it upright to keep any wet paint moving.  This plastic, disposable plate left from the holidays worked great since I could clean off any paint that dripped/ran out.

After it dried completely I noticed I need to use a brush and go around the inside of the top but other than that, it turned out pretty fantastic!  The color is just right for a Valentine's Day arrangement.

And see what I mean about plenty of milk glass vases to use for actual flowers?

Next up will be a couple of more in shades of pink... I'll stick with the chalk paint and add a bit of white to come up with a few shades of pink... just like these sweet carnations.  A favorite winter flower... they last so long!

And speaking of winter flowers...
Today, Miss Bee is 8 months old!  The best gift of love any one could imagine!

This post is not sponsored by Zulily but if you wish to check them out here's an invite from me!

Friday, January 23, 2015

christmas in our barn OR i better get this done before january is over

Well I'm not sure what happened to the end of December... or the first three weeks of January for that matter but figured if I was going to FINALLY say something about our break from tradition this past Christmas I should get it done before NEXT Christmas rolls around!

During my niece's wedding reception last October (and yes, that's still a future topic for posting!) the idea was tossed out that we should have Christmas in the barn.  After all the work of clearing, cleaning and finishing the barn it would be a fun opportunity.  Later in November when I asked family the response was basically "heck ya!" so Christmas in the Barn was officially on.

Of course I had a theme in mind... think Scandinavian meets galvanized meets rustic.  I had come across some cute little red and white mushrooms that look vintage, but actually were not and thought I'd add some gnomes as well.  I already had galvanized and a whole bunch of rustic so it was pretty simple to pull together decorating wise.

Bottle brush trees, mason jars and these super large mason jar looking containers helped fill up the space... and we couldn't forget about a tractor or two... real and ornaments.

My white and red wreaths that I use every year in the house were saved for using on a couple of the barn windows this year.... I picked these up our first Christmas at Red Gate Farm.  I'm not sure it still happens but it used to be that Starbucks would sell it's holiday decorations every year... so these two wreaths are from Starbucks, circa 2004... and were just $5 a piece!

Now you may want to keep in mind that our barn is unheated... we have a couple of propane heaters we could use but I was kind of hoping for a regular, mild Pacific Northwest kind of day... since it was sunny it was a bit chilly but we persevered!

One of the original barn doors that now hangs INSIDE was covered with lights and a bit of rustic garland.

Another old original barn door proudly showed a gnome covered cloth.

The cold weather called for a hot chocolate bar... I added additional winter/holiday elements like Thermos's

pop crates and even a couple of vintage paint by numbers I picked up at the thrift store... wouldn't it be fun to recreate the paint by numbers in a larger size??  Hmm, perhaps a project for a future Christmas in the Barn...

 I even reused some items from my niece's wedding (like the sign)...

Our tree for the day was my small artificial tree... up high and in an old market basket.

A top an upside down galvanized wash tub... Which left lots of room for gifts below!

The vintage wooden ladder, a gift to my husband, was festooned with lights and I tied some vintage blue jars on it as well.

I like the way the lights reflect off the glass... and the cords on the lights are actually brown!  So much fun to use in our barn instead of green or white cords.  An old bench was pulled out for seating....

A wooden box, hay and a vintage child's chalkboard round out the base of the ladder... and yes, those are tractors in the background.  The barn is home to a collection of vintage Farmall tractors.

The table we used for food is the same table used at my niece's wedding.  My husband bought a HUGE wooden table a few years back.  Perfect for a rustic party and it's so big that you can actually have room for food and decorations!

Some reindeer in a snowy jar.

Another view of the food table.  You can see the rustic top of the table, as well as a burlap runner picked up at Michaels and a vintage table linen that fits with the Scandinavian aspect of my theme.  I picked up these galvanized houses (lanterns actually) at the same place as the little mushrooms.  If you look closely you can see the loft at the top of the photo... I used more rustic garland to drape along the edge.

The best part of Christmas in the Barn was having room for tables for everyone to sit at!  We lined up some folding banquet style tables... I covered them with white tablecloths from my "collection" and topped them with more galvanized houses and these super cute honeycomb style paper trees.  These came from my favorite local shop, Grandiflora.

More tractors in the background...

And also included were these galvanized trees I've had for a number of years, also from a local kitchen and gift store.

It was definitely chilly that day and we spent a lot of time huddled up around the heaters.

Of course Miss Bee kept all of us warm with her cuddles... and looked adorable in her winter fleece snowsuit!

I'd say Christmas in the Barn was a success this year...

To family and new traditions... and the hope and promise of a new year.

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